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Virginia track and field continues hot start at Liberty Flames Invite

The Cavaliers were led by senior Bridget Guy and junior Brenton Foster

<p>Senior Bridget Guy set a school record in the pole vault.</p>

Senior Bridget Guy set a school record in the pole vault.

For the fourth-straight weekend, the Virginia men’s and women’s track and field teams competed on the road. Traveling close to home to Lynchburg, the Cavaliers competed against a number of regional competitors including top-25 ranked Campbell. This past Saturday, Feb. 2, the team built on their early season success by setting a Virginia record and a number of career-best performances. 

The women concluded the day with a great showing at the Liberty Indoor Track Complex. The highlight of the day came from senior Bridget Guy, who set a school record in the pole vault. Guy recorded a height of 4.30m, surpassing her own record from a week ago at the Columbia Challenge. Her performance set a meet record and places her 14th nationally. 

Moving over to the shot put, sophomore Brittany Jones earned first place and a career-best with a throw of 15.53m. Continuing the success on the field, senior Carly Feyerabend and sophomore Gabrielle Hayes tied for first-place in the high jump, clearing a height of 1.62m. 

On the track, the Cavaliers grabbed the first five spots in the 800m run. Freshman Sydney Coppolino won with a time of 2:17.46. In the mile, sophomore Kiera Bothwell cracked the 5-minute barrier, crossing the line in first place with a time of 4:58.35.

“We got a lot of work done today,” Director of Track and Field Bryan Fetzer said. “Things have finally started clicking for Brittany [Jones] and Bridget [Guy] continues to improve each week, not to mention we had some solid performances in our distance groups.

Just like the women, the men’s field and long-distance crews performed the best. The strongest result came from junior Brenton Foster, as he tied the school record of 2.21m in the high jump, set the meet record and moved up to 10th nationally this season. 

“Brenton was sluggish to start and he worked his way out of it,” Fetzer said. “He cleared 7 feet 3 inches on his third attempt, that goes a long way in the area of confidence. That showed a lot of focus and it will play dividends down the road.”

Returning to the field, senior Nace Plesko topped the shot put with a throw of 17.96m, and redshirt junior Sam Young captured first place in the pole vault, clearing a height of 5.10m.

On the track, the distance squad produced five top-five finishes in the 800m, mile and 300m run. Junior Noah Toonety, finishing second in the 800m run with a time of 1:54.95, earned a career-best while sophomore Ryan Buscaglia ran the third-fastest time of the day in the mile with a time of 4:15.71. Finally, three Cavaliers cracked the top-five in the men’s 3000m run.

Once again, the Cavaliers will divide and conquer next weekend, as the team travels to the Tiger Paw Invite in Clemson, S.C., and the Iowa State Classic in Ames, Iowa.


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